This article is an adaptation of an earlier one I delivered on the Cameroon National Radio Station (CRTV) on the 17th of February 2003, as a spontaneous reaction to the then President George Walker Bush`s unstoppable determination to go to war in Iraq. The paper was one of the daily political commentaries I delivered on the 6.30 a.m. prime time national and world news on CRTV between 2002 and 2005.
By all accounts, the split among members of the Security Council ought to be taken seriously. Key members such as France, Germany and Russia have distanced themselves from America by advocating for the weapons inspectors to be given more time. Although the United States and Britain continue to gun for a second Security Council resolution to be brought to bear on Iraq, the danger is that since some permanent members of the council are opposed to war against Iraq, at least not just yet, it is enough for them to slam a veto on the resolution for it to fail. If that was done, the wind would be taken out of George Bush’s sail and his thunder, stolen storm.
As if in conformity with the adage that it never rains but it pours, the knife has been further twisted on America and its British allies by the thousands of demonstrators who turned out in numerous world capitals to say ‘no to war against Iraq`. Large numbers of demonstrators also took to the streets in America, which means that even in George Bush’s own backyard, there are dissenting voices. Although partisans of the pro-war camp have argued that those who demonstrated were in the minority, it is also true that the number of people that demonstrated were the largest in recent times. But the problem is that if one considers the arsenal America has built up in readiness for this war against Iraq, one cannot help imagining how immense George Brush’ disappointment would be if there was after all no war and he had to recall the troops. Politically, it would be suicidal, with him being seen as having capitulated and thus handed Saddam Hussein another victory on a platter of gold. That is why the next few weeks, perhaps days, are crucial for the American President.
If Bush feels he is now between a rock and a hard place, as Americans love to put, then he should also remember that he brought it upon himself by boasting that America would force Saddam Hussein to disarm, with or without the United Nations. By so doing, he sought to resort to bully boy tactics. That statement was both over the top and below the belt because it implied America could by-pass the United Nations. It is therefore not surprising that former South African President Nelson Mandela ha lampooned President Bush on the subject. Undoubtedly, Iraq is a big test for George Bush. Already Ossama Ben Ladin has slipped through his fingers and North Korea is taunting him. The world is watching to see what will be his next move.